Home » Intelligent Design » File This One Under “Reaping the Whirlwind”

File This One Under “Reaping the Whirlwind”

For decades China’s “one child” policy has been the centerpiece of its population control efforts.  Millions of young girls have been killed in their mothers’ wombs as an indirect consequence of this policy for a very simple reason:  If parents can only have one child, the majority prefer that child to be a boy.  Therefore, when many parents find out their unborn child is a girl they have her killed. 

China has sown the wind.  Now it is time to reap the whirlwind.  This story is about the large and growing gender gap in China.  The Chinese have killed a large slice of an entire generation of women, and as a result in a few years 30 million men are going to be unable to find wives.  One can only imagine the social disruption this will cause, and we are kidding ourselves if we think that disruption will be contained in China. 

Note also the subtle lie in the article:  “Because of China’s one child policy to control its ever expanding population — now numbering 1.3 billion people — there has been a lopsided explosion of young boys.”  Yes, the policy is the indirect cause of the disproportionate rate of male births.  But we can be sure that girls and boys are conceived at the same rate in China as they are everywhere else in the world, very close to one-to-one.  The policy is neutral concerning gender.  In practice, however, parents decide to kill their unborn girls and not their unborn boys, and it is that practice, not the policy per se, that has caused the gender gap.

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25 Responses to File This One Under “Reaping the Whirlwind”

  1. A tragedy, truly.

    But we would indeed be fools to think this is just China’s problem. The world has finite space, and the population is growing exponentially, and at an alarming rate, despite the efforts of countries such as China to curb the population growth.

    The obvious answer – keep families small! Contraception and sexual education widely available (obviously not irresponisbly so) so we teach the next generation about safe sex and encourage them to be responsible. And that includes not having large families.

    Otherwise, sooner or later, we may find ourselves in a similar situation to China.

  2. Are the Chinese guilty of discriminating against women in vivo? At least in the USA we are not that inhumane. We do not regard the preborn as male or female human persons before birth. We believe personhood starts as the breath enters the lungs. No wait, we abort non-human tissue in the third trimester and they sometimes scream as their brains are sucked out (drives the moms and the “doctors” crazy when that happens I hear). No, we consider them persons when they are born wanted by their parents as opposed to unwanted. Did you know the unwanted could be killed legally in the USA? No kidding. Don’t want that kid. Easy. Abortion. But don’t think you can extend that logic to persons outside the womb like the homeless or your existing kids. The ones who are already persons. You can get thrown in jail for that. What is a person anyway?
    [sarcasm]

  3. Ritchie, are you suggesting that overpopulation be solved with homicide? Sounds like a great idea. Perhaps we can submit that in our new Healthcare Plan. I can see it clearly: “once your citizenry gets over, say, 10000 per 1 sq/mile shoot to kill.”

  4. Seriously, are you saying abortion is tragic, female abortion is tragic or overpopulation? What about teaching the next generation that abortion is murder? Nah, let’s just give criminals newer guns and an education on how to use them safely.

  5. Right now (http://bit.ly/27kLoO) would be a good time to implement the overpopulation reduction plan submitted in #3.

  6. Actually Barry, a large number of baby girls are killed after being born.

  7. absolutist –

    “Ritchie, are you suggesting that overpopulation be solved with homicide?”

    ??? No. Where did you get that idea?

    “Seriously, are you saying abortion is tragic, female abortion is tragic or overpopulation?”

    All of the above, really. If people kept families small, there would not be overpopulation and people would not abort to fit in with a ‘maximum child’ policy.

    Keeping families small is the key to this.

  8. Are you a communist (endorsing Chinese policy of one child per family) saying things like “despite the efforts of countries such as China to curb the population growth”?

    Or do you value freedom?

  9. Have fun channeling Thomas Malthus Ritchie. People have been saying this same thing for decades. They’ve been wrong every time.

  10. “once your citizenry gets over, say, 10000 per 1 sq/mile shoot to kill.”

    You mean, like in Chicago?

  11. absolutist wrote, “once your citizenry gets over, say, 10000 per 1 sq/mile shoot to kill.”

    You mean, like in Chicago?

  12. If we do not encourage people to have smaller families, we can only hope that our ability to produce food grows at the same rate as the population. If not, then we have to accept massive casualties. Are we willing to to take that risk?

    I’m actually fairly optimistic that we can handle it. But it requires that at some point we have to colonize space to accommodate the expanding population and to extract resources from extraterrestrial places.

  13. Mr Ritchie,

    I think urbanization and affluence have had a greater impact on lowering birthrates than contraception and sex education. I’m not saying that those should be ignored, they are necessary in every country today for many reasons. While China has pursued affluence, it has resisted freedom of movement, which makes rural China even more volatile, since the sex ratio is even more skewed there.

  14. Mr Mishap,

    re female infanticide, see this article from 2001, which atributes 34% of all abortions to sex-selection, and says survey respondents (perhaps not reliable here) consider female infanticide negligible. The only glimmer of light there is that simple underreporting may be more important than abortion for creating the skew in sex ratio – the actual situation is less skewed than the numbers suggest. But these data may be overtaken by the study quoted by China Daily, quoted by FoxNews.

    BTW, as the father of two wonderful boys adopted from Korea, I have had the pleasure of seeing many families open their hearts to adorable little girls from China. While this does nothing for the sex ratio problem, it does show that many people have big hearts and there are parents in China who are choosing to do a great thing.

  15. There is overpopulation . . . according to who?

    Complete bunk!

  16. Ritchie @ 1 wrote:

    The world has finite space, and the population is growing exponentially, and at an alarming rate, despite the efforts of countries such as China to curb the population growth.

    The obvious answer – keep families small! Contraception and sexual education widely available (obviously not irresponisbly so) so we teach the next generation about safe sex and encourage them to be responsible. And that includes not having large families.

    If your solution is not working now, even with China enforcing a one-child policy with government-mandated abortions and infanticide, with Western Europe’s population stagnating, and with Eastern Europe, the former Soviet bloc, and Japan populations actually receding, then it will never work.

    We’re going to need a bigger solution. If we make it big enough, it might be the last solution we need to implement – the final solution.

  17. 17
    William J. Murray

    Ritchie said: “The world has finite space, and the population is growing exponentially, and at an alarming rate, despite the efforts of countries such as China to curb the population growth.”

    I believe the facts disagree with you. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth

    “Globally, the growth rate of the human population has been steadily declining since peaking in 1962 and 1963 at 2.20% per annum. In 2007 the growth rate was 1.19% per annum.”

    Apparently, the more developed a country is, the progeny its population produces,without any legislative measures involved.

  18. 18
    William J. Murray

    I mean, “the less progeny its population produces..”

  19. Having a large segment of a society composed of single young men with no hope of finding wives is social dynamite.

    Men who do not settle into a family situation with a female are far, far more likely to commit crimes, be led into destructive mass movements, join gangs, become substance abusers and end up incarcerated. A lot of people have said that China is on the brink of a major societal disruption and crime wave because of their looming gender imbalance. I agree.

    We can see a similar result caused by Western nations’ welfare states. Women become dependant on the state, essentially marrying the government to provide them with material sustenance and security. Men in the welfare culture live outside a culture that needs marriage, and become superfluous loners with a vastly greater likelihood of committing crimes and joining gangs as a substitute for family.

    This is a big problem with polygamy too. Polygamy almost always means one man – many wives, thus leaving many men in a one man – no wife situation. Cultures that continue polygamy over time have a problem on their hands: what to do with all the volatile single young men? Get them involved in a religious or political movement is the common solution. Islamic jihad is a good example.

  20. StuartHarris, I agree. The historical way the imbalance has been handled is large scale warfare and expansionism.

    Whether it was intentional from the outset or not, I feel that is going to be the end result of China’s 20+ year reproduction policy.

  21. 21

    Thanks Nakashima. If I ever get married I would honestly prefer to adopt children who would not otherwise have a family than have my own. Too many children need parents.

  22. Brent,

    There is overpopulation . . . according to who?

    Complete bunk!

    According to, among others, James Lovelock. it is not just a question about population size, it is about resources and then some. I leave the calculation to you. (I find the numbers staggering.)

    http://www.theworldincrisis.co.....Gaia.shtml

  23. 23

    There is overpopulation . . . according to who?

    Complete bunk!

    Overpopulation has to do with resource consumption. If we all consumed the same amount of energy per capita as the population of Chad does, then there wouldn’t be overpopulation wrt energy. If everyone in the world consumed energy at the same rate as indivduals in the US, that would be a different story. According to wikipedia, the US consumes 25% of the world’s energy with only 5% of its population. Bring everyone up to US rates, and we would need many times more the energy we currently have available.

    Similar story for food consumption, clean water consumption, impacts on biodiversity, etc.

  24. I don’t know what your religious leanings are, Cabal, but I would find it terribly ironic for an atheist to believe anything James Lovelock had to say, considering that he believes the big ball of dirt called Earth to be some spooky spirit thing that is comparable to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

    By the way, I don’t see anything at the link you provided. It’s just a headline for a review and no text. I would question its objectivity simply on the domain name. I certainly don’t expect to see comforting news on a site named “World in Crisis”.

  25. I don’t know why people insist on taking all that Lovelock writes about Gaia literally. I just consider the concept of Gaia a handy metaphor. i don’t think Lovelock or anyone else thinks of the planet – icluding all the life that is an integral part of the planet – as some spooky spirit thing.

    Just look at the facts Lovelock brings up and his interpretation.

    He writes not only about global warming, he is very concerned about the discrepancy between available resources and our demand for same.

    Have you tried to calculate what resources would be need to provide the growing world population with a living standard of just 50% of what the developed world presently enjoys?

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